Many young children feel anxiety and can worry about different issues that we as adults, might not be aware of. Class work, friends, performing in school plays, winning at sports, personal safety, family issues and being frightened at experiencing new things, can all cause worry in young minds.
These emotions can present themselves in the questions that kids ask, but also in physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches and inattention. It can be difficult to approach emotional problems in youngsters and find a medium to help talk to them about how they are feeling. Don’t Feed the Worry Bug is an interactive storybook that aims to get young kids (up to 7 years) talking and thinking about their worries. The app is based on an award winning book ‘Don’t Feed the Worry Bug’ by author Andi Green. His goal is to help children embrace their emotions and find their inner “Woo”.
The story features Wince, a gorgeously illustrated monster (the graphics are hand painted) who worries so much that the Worrybug appears. The worries that Wince comes up against are similar to those that young kids would experience, such as homework and doing well in school. He finds that he worries so much that the Worrybug gets bigger and bigger. As the story progresses, Wince discovers how to keep his worries from getting too big and manage his worries.
The story uses some interactive elements, an original soundtrack, and a rhyming narrative that is very engaging and will entertain young readers. The interactive elements include a clever use of the recording facility on the iPad where readers are asked to record their worries and hear them played back to them.
The story itself is a good length, and can be read out loud with all interactions in less than 30 minutes. It gives the opportunity for parents and teachers to address issues that can be difficult to approach, and is an excellent tool to get kids to talk about the things that are worrying them.
The graphics, music and pace of the storybook are well suited to its content and theme. It allows reflection and thought on the part of the reader and the simple interactivity of the app draws readers in. This emotional app would be great to use as a supplement to some written reflection activities in the classroom, or alternatively having students write a summary of what the book was about, its main themes and how it relates to them. Download the app Wince:Don’t Feed The Worry Bug in iTunes.